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Horizon Award Honoree - Kelly Scott Swanson
B.S. 1997, Animal and Range Sciences

Kelly Swanson, Thief River Falls, MN native, graduated in 1997 from North Dakota State University with a bachelor’s degree in Animal and Range Sciences. While at NDSU, he was a member of the Saddle and Sirloin Club and Pre-vet Club and involved in intramural basketball and flag football. While studying at North Dakota State University, Swanson was also an undergraduate research assistant.

Swanson completed his Master’s degree in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1999. In 2002, he received his Ph. D. in Nutritional Sciences from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After obtaining his Ph. D., Swanson became a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, receiving further training in the area of nutritional genomics. In 2004, he accepted an assistant professor position at the University of Illinois in the Department of Animal Sciences. His current research program is focused on companion animal nutrition and nutritional genomics.

Although he has been on faculty for only two years, Swanson has already given 22 lectures and conference presentations on topics ranging from “Molecular Nutrition” to “Obesity in Pets: Keeping in Stride with Humans.” He has received 14 research or teaching grants and has been published in seven books and 22 journals. Along with his research and teaching activities, Swanson is a member of the several professional societies including Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society, American Society for Nutrition, American Society of Animal Science, American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition, and the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture.

As a faculty member, service to campus, professional societies, and the public are also important. Swanson has served as a judge for Student and Post-doc Poster competitions on the campus and national level and was recently elected to serve on the editorial board for the journal Animal Feed Science and Technology. Swanson currently serves as an ad hoc reviewer for 10 scientific journals in the areas of nutrition, microbiology, and immunology. He also serves as the treasurer for the Experimental Animal Nutrition (EAN) Research Interest Group of the American Society for Nutrition.

Swanson has also been involved in university and campus service. He is a member of the Undergraduate Courses and Curriculum Committee for the Department of Animal Sciences, the University of Illinois Agricultural Genome Sciences and Public Policy Program, the University of Illinois Biotechnology Center, the Division of Nutritional Sciences, and has served on student fellowship selection committees and faculty search committees for the Department. Last year alone, Swanson participated in the 2005 Nutritional Sciences Quiz bowl, was the coordinator of the FSHN 598 Obesity Journal Club, was a judge of the Graduate Student Poster Competition, was the coordinator of Animal Sciences Animal Nutrition Seminar, and served as a member on the Graduate Student Grievance Committee.

Swanson has received a number of different honors and recognitions through his undergraduate and graduate training. In 1992 and 1993 he received the University of MN-Crookston Scholar-Outstanding Student Scholarship and the 4-H Kern Quasi Scholarship. In 1994 he received both the University of MN-Crookston Student Service Award and the National Collegiate Natural Sciences Award from the US Achievement Academy. In 1996 and 1997 he received the American Society of Animal Science Scholarship while attending North Dakota State University. At the University of Illinois, Swanson received first place in the Nutritional Sciences Nutrition Symposium Poster Competition in 1999, and in 2005 was a Dannon Institute Nutrition Leadership Institute Recipient.

Away from work, Swanson enjoys spending time with his wife Lisa and his two little girls: Olivia and Hannah.

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